View Full Version : Sad for Ames...okay for the competitors I guess.

28-12-2009, 11:53 PM

Does Ames have a large presence where you guys are?


(Washington State)

29-12-2009, 12:08 AM
In name only Rick, hence my username in reverance to the pioneering brothers. It doesn't look good for them, does it?

Welcome to the forum by the way.:)

29-12-2009, 01:07 AM
I spoke with Robert Ames back in the 90's just before he was going in for eye surgery. I've been kicking myself ever since for not following up with him afterwards. We had a tentative appointment to talk about some ideas I wanted his input on.

*As I understand it, Robert and Stan worked on the hose fed system for years until they finally came up with the batch method that is available today. They first started in the 30's and didn't make any real money until they sold their company, "Belmont Manufacturing" of San Carlos Californa for $5.2 million dollars to a company named Bliss and Laughlin in September of 1962. Carl Raff was also involved but I'm not sure how the partnership was structured. Carl started another company several years ago also called "Belmont Manufacturing" that sold the same Ames design.

After Bliss and Laughlin changed their name to Axia, the patents ran out and Tape Tech (of Redmond, Washington) became Ames first real competitor. Apparently they gained sufficient market share to convince Ames to buy them. Also in the 90's, I went to the Ames facility in Belmont, California for some research I was doing. About this time Robert started Premier Taping Tools which Ames (now Axia) also bought. During the years Ames has also purchased Concorde and a couple of other companies I can't remember the names of. Typically, Ames doesn't promote the purchase of their tools in areas were their rental market is good. And other than Tape Tech they scrap the company and no longer support the tools out in the field.

I have a lot of respect for Robert and Stan Ames. When I was trying to find Robert (to talk "ideas") I couldn't find him in the phone book but I did find Stan. When I called, I reached his wife who told me that Stan had died not long before. She was a wonderful lady and very nice. I told her of the research I had done and what a great thing her husband and Robert had accomplished. She was very sweet in the conversation and gave me Roberts phone number.

Today, the last member of the original Ames team is working at Drywall Master. With Robert and Stan he started as the shipping clerk. Now Johnny's the technical guru at DM. I talked with him a couple of weeks ago. He's a great guy and has wonderful stories. You can get a glimpse of Johnny in the first couple minutes on youtube if you search "Drywall Master." Johnny also has many of the orginal Ames prototypes. Apparently after Ames moved to Atlanta, the President of Ames told someone to throw all of the prototypes in the garbage. Thankfully they ended up with Johnny.

Axia later sold the company to an investment firm in New York called Cortec. A little over a year ago Cortec sold Ames to Aurora for just under $300,000,000.00. I was told by one of their competitors that they were having money problems but I didn't realize it was a Chapter 11 situation.

*The information I have was found by a ton of patent and library researching and by talking to several old timers. I think I'm fairly accurate on this but am always open to correction...

29-12-2009, 01:31 AM
I'm sure I had landed on this site (Belmont Taping Tools) (http://www.belmonttapingtools.com/AboutBelmontTapingTools.htm) a few years back while doing my own research into the taping tool history but I didn't know of their involvement with Drywall Master. I had a test drive of one of their kits that came in a flight case about 2 years ago and I was impressed. I still have a blue Premier Drywall bazooka lying around somewhere that must be well over 20 years old now.

Thanks a lot for your detailed post, insight and history lesson. It was a good read. :fing02:

16-02-2010, 10:18 AM
Rhardman is correct, once the ames brothers sold the business to (axia?), they started the original premier (blue tools). The ames corporation then went through and fired all the mangers of their stores, at that time they were still assembling and in some cases making the tools at branch level. Once the patent ran out the Ames corporation set out buying and sinking all the competition, however most resurfaced under different names Premier became blue line, concorde became Northstar, i cant remember what drywall master was, Tapetech was kept afloat as a purchase rather than rent line, premier international is tapetech rebranded for the international market. It looks as though Ames has just been bought out, so it will be interesting to see what happens with the brand. They have ove 200 stores in the US, but the drywall market there is down 70%, so everone is struggling.

08-03-2010, 06:58 PM
This link you posted at CNBC is now dead Rick, did you keep a copy of it as I was thinking of promoting this thread to an article.

19-03-2010, 05:00 AM
This link you posted at CNBC is now dead Rick, did you keep a copy of it as I was thinking of promoting this thread to an article.

I'll see what I can find.